We are excited to be hosting the first Northwest Handbag Contest during the Pendleton Leather Show: now with two Divisions!

Entries are OPEN!

What is a Handbag: a purse or other carrier made of at least 75% leather, to be worn on the body or carried in the hand, with or without straps, designed to carry/hold personal articles or money. That means a Handbag can be used by men or women—a briefcase would qualify as a Handbag for the purposes of the contest. We admire the diversity of makers & styles we see at leather shows—and we are encouraging ALL styles of handbag entries in the Northwest Handbag Contest.

Judging & Scoring: we will announce our three person judging panel soon; they will be creative & talented artists who can competently evaluate entries. The three judges will independently and score each entry for the most impartial and fair contest possible.

People’s Choice Award—$200 award: all Show participants will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite entry throughout November 1 & 2. Both the Open & Novice Divisions will be eligible, but only one winner.

Social Media Award—$50 award: both divisions will have a winner. All entries will be posted on social media throughout the show and the entry in each category with the most votes/likes on Pendleton Leather Show Facebook/Instagram post will receive the award. Contestants are encouraged to submit photos of their entry PRIOR to the show.

Entries are OPEN!

Novice Division Entry

Open Division Entry


Open Division Rules:

  • Constructed of at least 75% leather, not including the lining, if any.

  • Collaborations of two makers is acceptable.

  • Entries must meet our definition of a handbag: purse or other carrier to be worn on the body or carried in the hand, with or without straps, designed to carry/hold personal articles or money.

  • Contestants may submit more than one entry.

  • Items made in a learning situation, or under the instruction of a teacher or other mentor will not be eligible for entry.

  • Participants are encouraged to provide a stand or other display for their entry.

Open Division Awards:

  • First place—$1000 in prizes & awards

  • Second place—$500 prizes & awards

  • Third place—$200 prizes & awards

  • Social Media Award—$50 award

Novice Division Rules:

  • Constructed of at least 75% leather, not including the lining, if any.

  • Collaborations of two makers is acceptable, but both must be Novice makers.

  • Entries must meet our definition of a handbag:  purse or other carrier to be worn on the body or carried in the hand, with or without straps, designed to carry/hold personal articles or money.  

  • Items made in a learning situation, or under the instruction of a teacher or other mentor will not be eligible for entry.

  • Novice participants cannot have won any other Beginner/Novice category contest for leatherwork/hangbags.

  • Contestants in the Novice category must not be in business (whether brick & mortar store or online presence).

  • Participants are encouraged to provide a stand or other display for their entry.

  • Exhibition only; no prizes awarded. All Novice contestants will receive a copy of their three scoresheets from the panel of judges.

Novice Division Awards:

  • Social Media Award—$50 award

Important dates:

  • October 15, 2019 Advance entries close

  • October 16-30, 2019 Late entry period, higher fees apply

  • October 30, 2019 all entries must be at the Pendleton Leather Show for judging

  • October 31, 2019 judging

  • November 1 & 2, 2019 entries on display

  • November 2, 2019 Awards announced & photos: tbd

    Entries must remain at the show through 4pm, November 2, 2019

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